Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 140 – Navigating Change with Equanimity & Compassion

In this dharma talk from 2014, Jack Kornfield explores how we can navigate the never-ending waves of change in our lives with loving awareness, equanimity, and compassion.

This Jack Kornfield talk was originally published on Dharma Seed
Navigating Change

Jack begins this dharma talk about navigating change by inviting us to take our seats in the mystery of being human. As we quiet our minds and soften our hearts, the more we can feel the flow of change. Jack explores allowing our awareness to be like the depths of the ocean, and he gets real about our human bodies, which are subject to aging and ultimately very temporary.

“But at the same time, there is a dimension of life, of awareness, that you can discover, tune into, rest in, that is silent and deep and embracing of all that, but also with a perfect balance with it, a kind of wisdom that says, yes, these are the inevitable changes on the surface, and here’s the stillness of awareness underneath it all.” – Jack Kornfield

Sharon Salzberg and Dr. Rick Hanson discuss embodied change in Metta Hour Ep. 123
Sorrows and Joys (14:55) 

Jack discusses finding stillness amidst the sorrows and joys that make up life. Through a series of stories, he shows us how we can maintain our composure through both the ocean of tears and the unbearable beauty of the world. Jack talks about how equanimity and inner peace are possible for us, but they must be balanced with the great heart of compassion.

“Equanimity is a balance in the midst of all things. A stillness, a spaciousness. It doesn’t mean that praise and blame and gain and loss won’t happen.” – Jack Kornfield

Joseph Goldstein shares how equanimity plays a key role on the spiritual path in Insight Hour Ep. 73
Balancing Equanimity and Compassion (33:15)

Jack explores finding composure no matter where we are in life and digs further into how equanimity must be balanced with compassion. He talks about how it is possible for us to bow to the joys and sorrows of the world while also standing up for justice and working to serve the Earth with a peaceful heart. 

“Bring this loving awareness that’s deep, much deeper than the waves of joy and sorrow, the waves of the ocean. Rest in the depths of equanimity and the great heart of compassion. Remember that it’s possible, and then you can bring it as a gift to whatever you touch.” – Jack Kornfield

Mingyur Rinpoche explores the essence of love and compassion with Raghu Markus and Krishna Das in Mindrolling Ep. 407